I recall a time when the cannabis industry was just a tiny blip on the radar. I remember reading about the first medical marijuana dispensary for cancer patients that was opened in California. I remember reading about the first grow house in Colorado, and the first vape shop in Vermont. I remember the first hemp store in Vermont, and the first hemp store in Montana that sold a wide range of hemp related products. I remember the first hemp store in Minnesota, and the first hemp store in Alaska. I remember the first hemp store in Vermont, and the first hemp store in South Carolina. I remember the first hemp store in Minnesota, and the first hemp store in Delaware. I remember the first hemp store in Vermont, and the first hemp store in Virginia,
There are hundreds of pot-friendly garden stores around the country, and they’re rising as fast as the weed they help customers grow. But these new stores are having a tough time staying afloat, leaving customers with even fewer options for getting their hands on marijuana.
It seems like every day another cannabis store gets busted operating illegally, and it’s not just the small mom and pops getting busted, it’s the big box stores that sell weed.
Small quantities of marijuana are officially legal in Virginia, but the only way to obtain it legally is to cultivate your own. Local nurseries and garden shops have seen a significant increase in business as a result of this.
It’s 6:30 p.m. on a sweltering weekday in Richmond, and Happy Trees Agricultural Supply is almost closed, yet the shop is full.
Customers have asked seeking guidance on how to cultivate cannabis, and Regional Operations Manager Richard Gropper says there’s a lot to learn.
“I suppose people have had their own methods for as long as they’ve been producing marijuana, “Richard Gropper, regional operations manager, agrees. “At this moment, it’s arguably one of the most researched and debated plants in the world’s history.”
He points out that if you grow outdoors, you have to be concerned about pests.
“Corn earworms and tobacco horn worms are also common in this area. In the hot and humid southeast, powdery mildew is a problem. Those are the most common, although spider mites, russet mites, and other cannabis-specific parasites are also common.”
Growing plants inside offers consumers greater control, and manager Pam Scott of Fifth Season Garden Supply in Charlottesville thinks it’s worth the additional work.
“You get a higher-quality, faster-moving product. The stems are three times thicker than the leaves. The leaves are just stunning. Yes, it’s very impressive.”
She, like her colleagues in Richmond, is inundated with inquiries regarding cannabis cultivation.
“We definitely answer 300 inquiries a day,” she adds “she explains. “We assist individuals in getting set up in their homes, outdoors, or with hydro systems.”
Scott and Gropper give them advice on the best indoor lighting to use, how to check the PH of water, what fertilizer to use, and how to test nutritional levels. Customers may even wish to furnish their pot with furnishings.
“This is an eb and flow table,” says the narrator “Gropper adds, pointing to a wooden tray with four legs. “At the bottom is a nutrient reservoir. When the timer goes off, all of the plants on the table are flooded.”
Clients may also buy a tent and use it to accelerate development by lighting it during the day and filling it with carbon dioxide at night. A well-tended plant may grow to be four feet tall and two feet broad in only two months, but before it reaches that large, Gropper explains why male plants must be removed.
“Males don’t create flowers, which is what the majority of people want. This is the final result – the bud “He clarifies. “Most people will cull the males since pollen will fertilize the female flowers and produce seeds if they don’t.”
Richard Gropper, Happy Trees’ regional operations manager, stands in front of a cannabis-plant-growing tent. (Photo courtesy of RADIOIQ)
When the plant is less than a foot tall, the variations become apparent. He demonstrates how to inspect where the leaves meet the stem to consumers. Males contain two tiny pollen sacks, whereas females have long, thin pistils.
Gropper and Scott acknowledge that it is feasible to grow marijuana without all the hassle. You can’t legally purchase seeds, but you may give them away, and it’s up to the grower to plant them and water them.
Gropper replies, “You can do it.”
It will grow if you just plant a seed in the earth. With a chuckle, Scott adds, “That’s why they call it marijuana.”
This enthusiasm is contagious. Lauren Wade, 25, doesn’t even use marijuana, but she enjoys the atmosphere at Happy Trees.
“Everyone is very pleasant. Everyone is kind and enthusiastic. Every Friday evening after work, I come here to chill out.”
Her father has also visited, but she is unsure whether he plans to cultivate marijuana.
“If my mother agrees,” she adds, smiling.
Both Happy Trees and Fifth Season plan to provide courses to prospective cannabis producers, and Gropper believes there will be a lot more business in the years ahead if Virginia legislators insist on the product being grown in the state.
“It would be a pity if we outsourced manufacturing to out-of-state manufacturers, particularly on the west coast,” she adds “Gropper expresses himself. “We just believe this is a Virginia phenomenon. We can undoubtedly grow better product while remaining in Virginia.”
By 2024, the General Assembly must determine how and where Virginia will get marijuana.
It’s not too often that you hear of a garden store or nursery being swamped by would-be cannabis growers. However, this is what’s been happening at least in the state of Colorado where the sale of recreational marijuana has been legal since 2014. So far, the number of pot shops has been limited to around 300, but this number is expected to rise further in the coming months.. Read more about wholesale nursery and let us know what you think.
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